Journal of Pathology Informatics Journal of Pathology Informatics
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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13

Isolation and two-step classification of normal white blood cells in peripheral blood smears


1 Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA
2 Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

Correspondence Address:
Nisha Ramesh
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2153-3539.93895

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Introduction: An automated system for differential white blood cell (WBC) counting based on morphology can make manual differential leukocyte counts faster and less tedious for pathologists and laboratory professionals. We present an automated system for isolation and classification of WBCs in manually prepared, Wright stained, peripheral blood smears from whole slide images (WSI). Methods: A simple, classification scheme using color information and morphology is proposed. The performance of the algorithm was evaluated by comparing our proposed method with a hematopathologist's visual classification. The isolation algorithm was applied to 1938 subimages of WBCs, 1804 of them were accurately isolated. Then, as the first step of a two-step classification process, WBCs were broadly classified into cells with segmented nuclei and cells with nonsegmented nuclei. The nucleus shape is one of the key factors in deciding how to classify WBCs. Ambiguities associated with connected nuclear lobes are resolved by detecting maximum curvature points and partitioning them using geometric rules. The second step is to define a set of features using the information from the cytoplasm and nuclear regions to classify WBCs using linear discriminant analysis. This two-step classification approach stratifies normal WBC types accurately from a whole slide image. Results: System evaluation is performed using a 10-fold cross-validation technique. Confusion matrix of the classifier is presented to evaluate the accuracy for each type of WBC detection. Experiments show that the two-step classification implemented achieves a 93.9% overall accuracy in the five subtype classification. Conclusion: Our methodology achieves a semiautomated system for the detection and classification of normal WBCs from scanned WSI. Further studies will be focused on detecting and segmenting abnormal WBCs, comparison of 20× and 40× data, and expanding the applications for bone marrow aspirates.


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